ZIMBABWE

By

J. Gambiza and C. Nyama


1. INTRODUCTION
2. SOILS AND TOPOGRAPHY
3. CLIMATE AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES
4. RUMINANT LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
5. THE PASTURE RESOURCE
6. OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF PASTURE RESOURCES
7. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND PERSONNEL
8. REFERENCES
9. CONTACTS


1.  INTRODUCTION

Zimbabwe has an area of 390 757 square kilometres. It extends from latitudes 15o37’ S to 22 o24’ S and from longitudes 25 o14’ E to 33 o 04’E. It is landlocked, bordering Mozambique to the east, South Africa to the south, Botswana to the west and Zambia to the north (Figure 1). Altitude ranges between 197 m and 2592 m. About 80% of the land is higher than 600 m and less than 5% is above 1500 m, with the highest part in the Eastern Highlands. The Zambezi, Save and Limpopo are the major rivers. Harare is the capital city and is situated in the northern part of the country. Bulawayo, the second largest city, is found in the southern part of the country. Good rail and road networks connect major towns and cities. The population was estimated at 12,236,805 in July 2006, with a growth rate of 0.62% (World Factbook).

zimMap1.jpg (159081 bytes)

Figure 1 – Map of Zimbabwe

In the late 1990s Zimbabwe had one of the most developed industrial sectors in Africa. Agriculture was the most important economic activity (Rukuni, 1994) with about 60% of industry being agro-based. Furthermore, the agricultural sector consumed about 20% of total output of industry (CFU, 2000).The agricultural sector employed a large proportion of the country’s labour force and also contributed about 18% of GDP and 40% of export earnings annually in a normal year (Rukuni, 1994).The major exports in the 1990s were are tobacco, cotton, sugar, maize, tea, coffee, horticultural crops, fruits, vegetables and beef (Table 1). The beef exports go mainly to the European Union and South Africa.
[Since this profile was first prepared there have been many changes in Zimbabwe and the impact of these changes on the agricultural, pastoral and livestock industries may not be adequately reflected here].

Table 1. Beef and hide exports (tonnes).

    Year

    Beef

    Hides

    1990

    2 605

    2 186

    1991

    4 082

    3 718

    1992

    8 969

    5 296

    1993

    10 001

    3 823

    1994

    14 604

    1 408

    1995

    12 790

    1 500

    1996

    6 640

    4 365

    1997*
    6 932
    1 379
    1998*
    7 481
    1 221
    1999*
    11 547
    1 273
    2000*
    12 010
    2 390
    2001*
    31
    84
    2002*
    4 344
    2 826
    2003*
    4 344
    335
    2004*
    54
    1026

Source: Central Statistical Office with data 1997-2004* from FAOSTAT (2006).

About 70% of the population is dependent on farming for a livelihood. However, more than 80% of Zimbabwe is subject to conditions which make dry land cropping a risky undertaking because of low and erratic rainfall. Livestock and crop production are therefore important enterprises in most areas.The major ruminant species kept are cattle, goats and sheep. Cattle are the most important; donkeys, pigs and poultry are also kept. Natural grazing is the most important source of livestock feed. The number of domestic livestock fluctuates widely because of variations in annual rainfall (Table 2).

There are four major farming sectors in Zimbabwe (Table 3):large-scale commercial, small-scale commercial, communal and resettlement. Large-scale commercial farms, owned mainly by white farmers, have an average size of 2 200 ha, with about 55% being located in high potential areas.These farms are characterised by relatively high levels of investment. In contrast, small-scale commercial farms occupy the smallest land area with an average farm size of about 125 ha. Land is held under either free-hold or lease-hold title. The farms are leased from government.

Table 2. Numbers of livestock (thousand) in commercial, communal and resettlement farming sectors.

Year

Commercial sector

Communal + Resettlement sectors

Beef

Dairy

Cattle

Goats

Sheep

Pigs

1980

2304

106

2869

1108

307

86

1981

2287

104

2895

1375

396

124

1982

2298

102

3262

1014

354

135

1983

2253

105

3189

1178

352

133

1984

2120

111

3234

1609

348

159

1985

1979

111

3409

1711

422

152

1986

2014

112

3657

1916

343

191

1987

1892

121

3905

2210

447

192

1988

1884

121

3815

2360

545

226

1989

1867

123

3856

2419

517

275

1990

1704

127

4172

2621

588

233

1991

1714

126

3509

2622

487

207

1992

1641

124

4259

2618

491

209

1993

1451

115

3589

2569

456

204

1994

1383

105

4279

2556

461

201

1995

1331

105

3381

2457

466

157

1996

   

3518

2519

428

143

(Source: Central Statistical Office; Matowanyika, 1998).

Table 3. Major characteristics of the farming sectors and existing levels of investment.

Parameter Large scale farms Small scale farms Communal areas Resettlement areas
Land tenure

Free-hold & lease-hold

Free-hold & lease-hold

Lease-hold

Lease-hold

Number of households

4 660

8 653

> 1 million

51 410

Land area (106 ha)

11.22

1.38

16.35

3.79

Farm size (ha)

2 200

125

2.5a

5 a

Agricultural land potential

High

Marginal

Marginal

Medium

Macro-level investmentb        
Roads

4

2

2

2

Credit facilities: short-term

4

2

1

2

Medium term

3

3

-

2

Research

3

1

1

1

Extension

4

2

3

2

Marketing outlets

3

2

2

2

Irrigation development

3

1

1

1

Grazing schemes (fencing)

4

3

1

1

Micro-level investmentb        
Fertiliser use

4

2

1

2

Use of improved seed

4

2

2

2

aRefers only to arable land holding.
b1 and 4 denote lowest and highest levels of investment, respectively. (Source: Rukuni, 1994).

The communal farming sector has the highest human population density. About 74% of communal farmland is on inherently infertile sandy soils in marginal areas characterised by low and erratic rainfall. Arable land holdings are generally less than 2.5 ha. There is considerable pressure on the land because of the increasing human population growth rate (3% per annum). The high pressure on land results in conversion of grazing land to arable, which in turn, leads to serious environmental problems like deforestation and soil erosion. When Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980, one of the primary aims of the new government was to relieve pressure on communal lands by resettling people on formerly white-owned large-scale commercial farms. Farms were acquired on a willing-seller willing buyer basis. As of 2000, more than 51,410 families have been resettled on 3,790,000 ha. Tenants are given permits to settle, cultivate land and keep livestock. Land is held under lease-hold title. There are serious problems relating to land ownership in Zimbabwe. Landless people from communal areas are currently "invading" white-owned large-scale commercial farms and the land ownership issue has a very high profile with ongoing legal battles.

2.  SOILS AND TOPOGRAPHY

Major topographic features

The country can be divided into six general physical regions (Figure 1). Anderson et al., 1993 described these regions as follows:

  • Eastern Highlands. This is a series of mountain ranges extending some 250 km along the border with Mozambique. Altitude ranges between 2 000 m and 2 400 m. The high elevation gives this region a characteristic microclimate and vegetation.
  • Highveld. Consists of a more or less gently undulating plateau above 1 200 m. A northern subregion extends from Chinoyi to Rusape and south to Gweru. Karoi is centred on an outlier of this subregion to the northwest. A southern, more arid, subregion extends and narrows southwest from Gweru to Plumtree.
  • Middleveld. Borders the Highveld. Elevation ranges between 900 m and 1 200 m. Undulating to rolling, with common rock outcrops and locally dissected, it comprises a subregion 80 to 160 km wide southeast of the Highveld and two more complex subregions to the northeast and northwest of the Highveld.
  • Kalahari Sandveld. This is an extensive area in western Zimbabwe influenced by a mantle of deep aeolian Kalahari sands. It is flat to undulating with an altitude less than 1 200 m.
  • Zambezi Valley. This can be divided into two subregions separated by the Kariba gorge. The Upper Zambezi Valley and Sanyati-Sengwa Basin subregion, mainly at elevations between 500 m and 900 m, shows strong structural control, resulting in the Matuzviadonha and Chizarira plateaux.The Mid Zambezi Valley subregion downstream of the Kariba Gorge and demarcated by the precipitous Zambezi Escarpment, declines northwards from about 600 m elevation at the escarpment foot to about 350 m at the Mozambique border. It is generally less broken than the Upper Zambezi Valley, particularly east of the Manyame River where the landform shape is almost flat to undulating but with a finely dissected microrelief in places.
  • Southeast Lowveld and Middle Save Valley. This is a broad peneplain at elevations under 900 m. East of the middle reaches of the Save River, there is a marked rise through the foothills of the Eastern Highlands. Elsewhere, the transition to Middleveld is gradational. Landform is very subdued, generally almost flat to gently undulating.

Geology and soils

Soils are closely related to the underlying rocks. Nyamapfene (1991) gives a detailed description of the soils of Zimbabwe. Diverse geological materials occur in the country. Igneous and metamorphosed igneous rocks occupy 65% and materials of aeolian (e.g. Kalahari sands) and sedimentary origin (e.g. Karoo sandstones) 25% of the area. Granites are the dominant (46%) igneous rocks. The granites give rise to infertile light textured sandy soils. Relatively small inclusions of other rocks referred to as the gold belt formations (complexes of metamorphosed basaltic and andesitic lavas and sediments) are important sources of minerals and also give rise to agriculturally important heavy textured red soils. A unique feature of Zimbabwe’s geology is the 540-km long Great Dyke that stretches in a nearly straight line from the northern Highveld region near the Zambezi escarpment southwards into the Southeast Lowveld region. It is composed of mafic and ultramafic rocks that give rise to soils that are characterised by the dominance of magnesium and toxic levels of heavy minerals such as chrome and nickel that are associated with characteristic flora such as Andropogon gayanus and Diplorhynchus condylocarpon (Nyamapfene, 1991).


3.  CLIMATE AND AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONES

Climate

Zimbabwe lies entirely within the tropics but much of the Highveld and Eastern Highlands have a subtropical to temperate climate due to the modifying effect of altitude. Three seasons are recognised in Zimbabwe. These are: (1) a hot wet season from mid- November to March (summer); (2) a cold dry season from April to July (winter), and a hot dry season from August to mid-November (spring).

Air temperatures are closely related to altitude with mean annual temperature ranging from about 25oC in parts of the Zambezi Valley to less than 15oC above 1800 m in the Eastern Highlands. Maximum temperatures are lowest in June or July and highest in October. During winter, mean daily temperature ranges between 11 and 20oC. Mean maximum daily temperatures can exceed 32oC during spring.

Frost may occur in most areas between May and September, with the highest incidence in June and July. It occurs more frequently and more severely at mid and high altitudes. Severe frosts are associated with an influx of cold dry southwesterly air that mostly affects the Kalahari Sandveld and southern Highveld regions. Local topography, however, is the main determinant of frost risk with valleys, vleis and other sites which receive and retain cold night air being especially susceptible. The Mid Zambezi Valley is probably the only frost-free region.

Rainfall varies widely both temporally and spatially.The reliability of rainfall increases with altitude and from south to north. Coefficients of variability range from >40% in areas south of Bulawayo to <20% in some parts of the Highveld and Eastern Highlands. About 90% of the total rainfall in Zimbabwe is associated with thunderstorm activity producing falls of short duration and high intensity. Periods of drizzle and light rain ("guti") are only significant in the southeast of the central watershed, but total amounts contributed by this type of rainfall are small.Local variation in the regional rainfall pattern caused by orographic effects occurs in several areas.

Agro-ecological zones

Vincent and Thomas (1960) divided Zimbabwe into five main natural regions according to differences in effective rainfall (Figure 2; Table 4).

Map2.jpg (126032 bytes)

Figure 2 – Map of agro-climatic zones and farming regions

Table. 4. Agro-ecological zones of Zimbabwe and the recommended
farming systems in each zone (Vincent and Thomas, 1960).

Natural Region

Area (km2)

Rainfall (mm yr-1)

Farming system

I

7 000

>1 000

Specialised and diversified farming

II

58 600

750 – 1 000

Intensive farming

III

72 900

650 - 800

Semi-intensive farming

IV

147 800

450 - 650

Semi-extensive farming

V

104 400

<450

Extensive farming

Annual rainfall is highest in Natural region I which covers approximately 2% of the land area. It is a specialised and diversified farming region with plantation forestry, fruit and intensive livestock production.Tea, coffee and macadamia nuts are grown in frost-free areas. Natural region II covering 15% of the land area, receives lower rainfall than region I, nevertheless is suitable for intensive farming based on crops or livestock production.

Natural region III is a semi-intensive farming region covering 19% of Zimbabwe. Although rainfall in this region is moderate in total amount, severe mid season dry spells make it marginal for maize, tobacco and cotton, or for enterprises based on crop production alone. The farming systems are therefore based on both livestock (assisted by the production of fodder crops) and cash crops.

Natural region IV is a semi-extensive farming region covering about 38% of Zimbabwe. Rainfall is low and periodic seasonal droughts and severe dry spells during the rainy season are common. Crop production is therefore risky except in certain very favourable localities, where limited drought resistant crops are grown as a sideline.The farming is based on livestock and drought resistant fodder crops.

Natural region V is an extensive farming region covering about 27% of Zimbabwe. Rainfall in this region is too low and erratic for the reliable production of even drought resistant fodder and grain crops, and farming is based on grazing natural pasture. Extensive cattle or game ranching is the only sound farming system for this region.


4.  RUMINANT LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

Both large-scale commercial and smallholder ruminant livestock production are practised in Zimbabwe. Beef and dairy cattle production are the important commercial enterprises while in the smallholder sector farmers keep beef, dairy and small ruminants (sheep and goats) under a mixed farming system.

Commercial production

Beef and dairy production are important in the large-scale commercial sector (Table 5). Beef and milk are consumed locally and also exported. Exports of beef to the EU and South Africa generate foreign exchange.

 

Table 5. Estimated production of livestock products from
the large-scale commercial sector (thousand tonnes).

  1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Beef 139.25 102.28 107.27 78.68 70.81 73.79 73.50 67.20
Dairy 220.76 204.82 196.92 200.19 200.90 185.40 184.32 181.29
Sheep 0.10 0.18 0.18 0.25 0.29 0.29 0.27 0.30
Poultry 36.29 31.09 33.36 33.94 33.82 36.42 35.02 38.52
Pigs 6.50 8.78 9.21 8.51 8.80 9.90 10.59 11.00

(Source: Commercial Farmers Union, 2000)

Beef cattle

European breeds (Bos taurus), indigenous breeds (Bos indicus) and crosses are used for beef production. Systems range from extensive systems (ranching), which require large areas of land, to intensive systems, which require relatively smaller areas of land. Generally, extensive systems are practised in Natural regions IV and V where rainfall is too low and erratic for crops. In contrast, intensive systems of production such as pen-fattening of slaughter stock are practised in high rainfall areas (Natural regions II and III) where herbage production is higher and less variable and farmers can grow high-energy feeds like maize.

Natural grazing is the primary source of feed for beef animals, but cereal crop residues and planted pastures may assume this role for short periods in medium and high rainfall areas (Natural regions I and II). Animals are usually grazed at conservative (light) stocking rates on rangeland in fenced paddocks. Rotational grazing systems are used with five to eight paddocks per herd.

The quantity and quality of herbage varies spatially and temporally (Weinman, 1948; Elliot and Folkertsen, 1961). Rainfall is a major determinant of grass production (Dye and Spear, 1982). There is a linear relation between grass production and annual rainfall in areas receiving less than 900 mm. It is difficult for producers to match animal numbers with available herbage. Farmers therefore use conservative stocking rates in order to prevent overgrazing. This strategy, however, results in under-utilisation of herbage in years of above-average rainfall.

Beef cattle are fed supplements because of seasonal changes in the feeding value of grazing: this involves the use of protein supplements during the dry season, phosphorus in the wet season and occasionally energy supplements in spring and early summer (Sibanda, 1998).

Some farmers also reinforce rangeland with legumes in order to improve the quality of grazing. Several herbaceous and browse legumes are used (these are described below).

A key player in the Zimbabwean beef industry is the Cold Storage Company (CSC) that supplies breeding stock to both commercial and smallholder farmers, and beef to the domestic market during periods when there are reduced supplies. CSC is a former parastatal organisation that was privatised recently; has ranches and feedlots in different parts of the country and practices both extensive and intensive beef production. Its mandate is to support national beef production and marketing. It supports national beef production by buying animals from farmers in drought-stricken areas. These are kept on ranches during drought years and then either sold or loaned to farmers for restocking after drought. The supply of slaughter stock in Zimbabwe is seasonal. Few farmers supply animals for slaughter in the dry season and early-growing season. Thus, CSC maintains the supply of beef to both the domestic and export markets by slaughtering animals that are fattened on high-energy diets in pens during these seasons.

Commercial beef production has declined drastically since 1992 (Table 5). This has been attributed to an unfavourable macro-economic environment that is characterised by high inflation and interest rates. Farmers are increasingly unable to borrow money to purchase breeding stock, especially after drought. Some farmers are therefore switching away from beef production to more profitable enterprises such as wildlife farming.

Dairy cattle

Dairying is an important industry that supplies milk to the domestic market (Table 6). It is a specialised enterprise requiring proper feeding of the cow and handling of the milk. To produce milk, a cow should be fed a balanced diet. Feeding systems are generally based on maize and its by-products for energy, and cotton and soybean-oil cakes for protein (Pascoe, 1987). Natural grazing, veld hay, maize silage and where irrigation is available, oats, Midmar rye grass, lucerne and planted pastures are important sources of roughage.

Table 6. Number of dairy animals and producers, and the amount of milk delivered (million litres) to Dairiboard Zimbabwe (Ltd).

Year

Number of dairy females

Number of producers

Raw milk intake

1982

93 350

472

150.5

1983

93 999

495

172.5

1984

104 464

521

181.1

1985

103 837

520

187.9

1986

196 763

538

202.1

1987

105 107

561

223.9

1988

108 433

540

236.7

1989

112 868

534

241.0

1990

141 000

524

256.0

1991

149 000

495

253.5

1992

136 900

461

237.6

1993

-

430

204.0

(Source: Nyathi and Gambiza, 1994).

Feeding systems vary depending on climate and hence the farmer’s ability to grow feeds economically. In marginal rainfall areas (Natural regions III and IV) most farmers purchase concentrates and use rangeland in summer months to provide roughage. Maize silage and veld hay provide roughage during winter months. In contrast, farmers in high potential areas (Natural regions I and II) grow maize for roughage (silage) and energy (grain). Thus, farmers in high potential regions normally only purchase high concentrate protein mixes. Although many farmers graze animals in summer, there is an increasing trend towards zero grazing with maize silage forming the bulk of the roughage intake (Pascoe, 1987). Where irrigation is available, most farmers produce green feed for use in winter. Popular forages are oats, Midmar rye grass and grass pastures.

The high costs of purchased feeds are affecting the viability of many dairy enterprises adversely. Farmers are increasingly producing feeds on-farm in order to reduce costs. Production of high quality forages is being researched at various government-funded research institutes. The major aim is to investigate cheaper systems for milk production from dryland grass and grass/legume pastures.

The commonest dairy breeds are Friesland-Holstein, Jersey, Guernsey, Ayrshire and Red Dane. Natural service and artificial insemination using imported semen of proven sires are regularly used in breeding programmes.

Smallholder production

Beef cattle and small ruminants

Cattle are the most important livestock in the smallholder sector where they are kept for multiple purposes; they provide draught power, manure, milk, cash and meat. Beef production is ranked lower than provision of draught power in terms of the value of cattle. There is therefore a strong relation between crop and cattle production in the smallholder sector (Table 7). Crop production increases as herd size increases. Farmers who own cattle till their lands timeously leading to higher crop yields. Moreover, cattle manure is used as an organic fertiliser which improves soil structure and fertility thereby reducing the amounts of inorganic fertilisers that have to be purchased. Cattle owners therefore obtain higher crop yields and incomes than non-cattle owners and greater food security is associated with cattle ownership.

Table 7. Relation between size of the cattle herd and maize production in the communal sector.

Herd size

Area under maize (ha)

Area manured (ha)

Manure applied (tonnes)

Maize yield (kg ha-1)

1-4

1.0

0.38

4.01

903

5-8

1.2

0.57

4.19

1148

9-12

1.3

0.69

4.21

1249

>12

1.3

0.94

4.57

1831

(Source: Rukuni, 1994).

Offtake of cattle from the smallholder sector is generally low (less than 7%) (Rukuni, 1994). Farmers tend to sell old (9-10 years) and unproductive animals. The low offtake is attributed to cattle being kept for multiple purposes. Furthermore, farmers have small herds (4-5 head per household). About 40% of households in the smallholder sector have no cattle and depend on cattle owners for draught power. Farmers therefore aim at purchasing and building herds leading to reduced offtake.

Unlike cattle, small ruminants are primarily kept for meat, cash sales and manure. Small ruminants complement cattle in providing households’ needs (Rukuni, 1994). Table 8 shows flock sizes and ownership patterns of small ruminants in communal areas. Ownership of goats and flock size increase with aridity. This is attributed to the goat’s ability to survive in harsh environments. In contrast, ownership of sheep and flock size are similar across the five agro-ecological regions of the country.

Table 8. Flock size and ownership pattern of small ruminants and donkeys by natural region (NR) in communal areas.

Flock or herd size

NR II

NR III

NR IV

NR V

Goats

3.2

2.6

6.2

7.9

Sheep

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

Donkeys

0.2

0.4

0.7

1.2

Households owning (%)

       

Goats

62.9

51.6

57.3

74.8

Sheep

3.6

4.0

3.6

3.4

Donkeys

4.0

14.1

35.1

37.8

(Source: Rukuni, 1994)

Cattle and small ruminants graze natural pasture during summer and in winter they feed on crops residues, waterways, fallow land and uncultivated areas within arable lands. Cattle are grazed at high stocking rates (1 LU: 1 ha) on communal grazing land and numbers and productivity fluctuate with annual rainfall leading to boom and bust production cycles (Campbell et al., 2000). Thus, cattle numbers increase during years with above-average rainfall whereas numbers decline dramatically in drought years. For example, during the 1991/1992 drought, up to 90% of cattle died in some areas. Farmers keep indigenous breeds such as the Mashona, Tuli and Nkone that have been shown to have high fertility (calving percentage exceeds 85% under adequate feeding and disease control). Animals are neither fed protein supplements during the dry season nor dosed and vaccinated against diseases.

Dairy cattle

Dairy production in the smallholder sector is a post-independence (1980) phenomenon. The Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (ARDA), a parastatal organisation, has been at the forefront in promoting milk production in the smallholder sector. Several smallholder dairy schemes are now operational in different parts of the country. These schemes are now delivering milk to the market (Table 9). The Dairy Development Programme (DDP) of ARDA has a mandate to promote dairy development. It provides farmers with financial and technical assistance to set up dairy enterprises. Milk is produced from crossbred cows.

Table 9. Size of the dairy herd, milk production and sales (litres) in the smallholder sector.

Year

Dairy herd (number)

Home retention (106 litres)

DZLa sales (106 litres)

Local sales (106 litres)

Total production (106 litres)

1990

 

0.38

1.18

0.08

1.64

1991

 

0.47

1.41

0.16

2.04

1992

 

0.43

1.11

0.32

1.86

1993

 

0.46

1.11

0.42

1.99

1994

4 734

0.65

1.66

0.52

2.83

1995

4 962

0.81

1.94

0.80

3.56

1996

5 474

0.75

1.73

0.71

3.18

1997

5 569

0.73

1.26

0.85

2.84

1998

5 657

0.58

0.54

0.87

1.99

1999

5 327

0.37

0.37

0.74

1.48

(Source: ARDA-DDP Annual Report; 1998/99)

(aDZL is Dairiboard Zimbabwe Limited, a former parastatal organisation that markets milk).

Dairy animals are grazed and also fed home-grown feeds and commercial concentrates. Several problems have been experienced in the smallholder sector leading to reduced milk production and sales. The major constraints are (ARDA-DDP Annual Report, 1998/99):

  • insufficient feed;
  • high costs of commercial feeds;
  • poor fertility of cows because of low nutrition;
  • use of old cows because of high cost of replacement heifers;
  • poor calf management leading high calf mortality, and
  • insufficient knowledge of how to process milk and market milk products.

Despite these problems concerted efforts are being made to improve smallholder dairy production. There is greater emphasis on training farmers to feed and manage dairy animals.

Livestock numbers and production statistics in the period of 1996-2005

There have been considerable changes in Zimbabwe since this profile was first drafted. As separate data for the commercial and smallholder sectors are not available Table 10 contains statistics for livestock numbers, meat and milk production and some import and export data (from FAOSTAT) for the period 1995-2004 for the whole of Zimbabwe. There appears to have been little change in livestock numbers since 2000 and meat and milk production has stagnated or declined (apart from pig and poultry meat production). Beef and veal exports have declined and since 2001 there has been a negative trade balance in dairy products. In 2000 there was a balance of US$ 6M in dairy exports over imports but by July 2003 there was a (negative) balance of minus US$ 3M.

Table 10. Zimbabwe statistics for livestock numbers, meat and milk production,
live animal and beef exports and milk imports for the period 1996-2005

 

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Cattle nos.
(,000,000)

5.4

5.4

5.5

6.1

5.7

5.8

5.6

5.4

5.4

5.4

Goat nos.
(,000,000)

2.7

2.7

2.8

2.9

3.0

3.0

3.0

3.0

3.0

3.0

Sheep nos. (,000,000)

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.6

0.6

0.6

0.6

0.6

0.6

0.6

Beef and veal prod. (,000 mt.)

67.4

73.6

73.7

95.4

101.3

101.3

99.0

96.8

96.8

96.8

Goat meat prod. (,000 mt.)

11.6

11.6

12.0

12.8

12.8

12.8

12.7

12.8

12.8

12.8

Sheep meat prod. (,000 mt)

0.5

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.6

0.6

0.6

0.6

0.6

0.6

Game meat prod.  (,000 mt.)

22.0

23.0

24.0

25.0

26.0

27.0

28.0

30.0

32.0

32.0

Pig & chicken meat prod. (,000 mt)

33.4

33.7

36.3

36.4

45.7

64.9

62.0

64.0

64.0

64.0

Cow milk prod. (,000 mt.)

300.0

280.0

290.0

300.0

310.0

310.0

280.0

248.0

248.0

248.0

Live cattle exports nos. (,000)

3.0

2.3

19.4

11.2

20.6

2.5

0.7

0

0.1

n.r.

Live goat exports nos. (,000)

3.0

5.2

9.6

6.2

1.7

1.7

0

0

0

n.r.

Beef & veal exports (,000 mt)

6.7

6.9

7.5

11.6

12.0

0.03

4.4

4.4

0.04

n.r.

Milk equiv. imports (,000 mt)

9.8

11.4

12.1

17.4

7.6

6.6

15.3

12.3*

11.2

n.r.

Source: FAOSTAT 2006; n.r.  no record
* Valued at US$4,186,000, but partly offset by exports valued at US$1,154,000


5THE PASTURE RESOURCE

Natural grazing (rangeland)

Natural grazing is the cheapest and most important source of livestock feed in Zimbabwe. It has been divided into sourveld, sweetveld and mixedveld based on animal body weight changes in the dry season. Sourveld describes grazing where animals gain weight during the growing season but lose weight during the dry season because of the poor quality of herbage (crude protein content less than 30 g kg-1). It is found in the highveld region that receives more than 800 mm annual rainfall at altitudes above 1200 m. Sweetveld refers to grazing where animals gain weight during the growing season and in winter, and are able to at least maintain their body weight. Sweetveld is in low-lying (< 900 m) semi-arid areas that receive low rainfall (<600 mm). The ability of domestic herbivores to maintain weight is partly attributed to the availability of palatable browse which tends to be high in protein. The middleveld is intermediate between these two extremes and is usually in areas of intermediate altitude and rainfall.

Herbage production is highly variable spatially and temporally; major factors influencing it are annual rainfall, shading by woody plants and soil type. There is a linear relation between grass production and annual rainfall (up to about 900 mm) (Dye and Spear, 1982). For each millimetre of rain, 2 kg dry matter of grass ha-1 year-1 are produced in areas cleared of woody plants on clayey soils, while 1 kg DM ha-1 year-1 is produced in cleared areas on sandy soils (Dye and Spear, 1982). There is a negative exponential relation between woody plant cover and grass production (Frost, 1996).

The quality of herbage varies seasonally. The crude fibre content increases with plant maturity and is therefore highest at the end of the growing season. In contrast, the crude protein content of grasses is highest during the early growing season (November /December) and lowest during the dry season (Tables 11, 12). Ruminants lose body weight during the dry season in areas where the crude protein content of herbage is less than 60 g kg-1. In the large-scale commercial sector, animals are commonly fed protein supplements during the dry season to prevent weight loss.

Table 11. Seasonal changes in dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), crude fibre (CF),
and ash of ungrazed rangeland on sandy soils at Grassland Research Station.

Month DM (kg ha-1)

CP (g kg-1)

CF (g kg-1)

Ash (g kg-1)

December

228.7

85

333

59

January

571.6

71

352

66

February

1017.7

50

384

60

March

1360.7

51

374

63

April

1462.7

41

395

54

May

1053.6

40

384

57

(Source: Weinman, 1948)

Table 12. Seasonal changes in dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), crude fibre (CF), ash and
total digestible nutrients (TDN) of ungrazed rangeland on clayey soils at Henderson Research Station.

Month

DM (kg ha-1)

CP (g kg-1)

CF (g kg-1)

Ash (g kg-1)

TDN (g kg-1)

November

539.9

87

307

109

-

December

1080.9

70

316

102

612

January

1555.8

52

356

100

523

February

2441.1

43

369

97

529

March

2921.9

36

381

89

473

April

2919.6

31

388

98

438

May

2868.4

28

406

90

293

(Source: Elliot and Folkertsen, 1961)

There are eight major grass vegetation types in Zimbabwe (Rattray, 1957). They are described in terms of the dominant grass species (Figure 3). The grass vegetation types vary in grazing capacity. Generally, grazing capacity is highest in areas of high rainfall and lowest in those of low rainfall.

  • Mountain grassveld. It occurs in the eastern border where rainfall is above 1000 mm and altitude above 1 600 m. It is a short perennial sour grassveld with a grazing capacity of 1 livestock unit (LU = 500 kg) : 2-3 ha. Themeda triandra dominates on fertile red clays and Loudetia simplex on sandy granite soils. Other common grass species are Andropogon schirensis, Monocymbium ceresiiforme, Eragrostis racemosa Trachypogon spicatus, Alloteropsis semialata, Digitaria apiculata, D. monodactyla and Bewsia biflora. Cymbopogon validus, Eragrostis species and the shrub Senecio sceleratus dominate when mountain grassland is overgrazed.
  • Hyparrhenia tall grassveld. It occurs in areas receiving between 750 mm and 1 125 mm at an altitude ranging from 1 200 m to 1675 m. This is a sourveld varying from Brachystegia spiciformis woodland to open perennial grassland on the country’s watershed. It has a grazing capacity of 1 LU: 2.5-3.5 ha. Common grasses include Hyparrhenia filipendula, Hyperthelia dissoluta, Heteropogon contortus, Brachiaria brizantha, Digitaria milanjiana, Eragrostis racemosa, Andropogon schinzii, Schizachyrium semiberbe, S. jeffreysii and Aristida congesta. Aristida vestita and Perotis patens are characteristic species on infertile granite sands. Hyparrhenia species and Themeda triandra dominate on fertile red clays and clay loams. This veld type is relatively resistant to overgrazing. However, Heteropogon contortus, Sporobolus pyramidalis, Melinis repens, Eragrostis spp., Aristida spp., Cynodon dactylon and shrubs (e.g. Eriosema englerianum and Dolichos malosanus) become dominant when the veld is overgrazed.
  • Hyparrhenia other species grassveld. It occurs mainly on the watershed at altitudes above 1 200 m where rainfall is less than 750 mm. This is a sourveld of tall perennial grasses varying from tree savanna to more open savanna on the drier parts of the country’s main watershed. It has a grazing capacity of 1 LU: 4-5 ha. The common grass species are similar to the previous type. The grass cover is, however, less dense and several additional species such as Eragrostis jeffreysii and E. gummiflua appear in this type. Associated woody species are Terminalia sericea, Burkea africana, Combretum spp and Acacia species. In overgrazed veld, grass species that become dominant are similar to those outlined in the previous type excluding Sporobolus pyramidalis. Eragrostis rigidior also increases in abundance in overgrazed areas.
  • Heteropogon other species grassveld. Is a mixedveld of medium height perennial grasses with some annuals in tree savanna or tree bush savanna, occurring between Hyparrhenia veld and Eragrostis veld. It has a grazing capacity of 1 LU: 5-6 ha. Common grass species are Heteropogon contortus, Themeda triandra, Cymbopogon plurinodis, Hyparrhenia filipendula, Bothriochloa insculpta and Eragrostis superba. It is sensitive to over-grazing. Cymbopogon plurinodis, H. contortus, B. insculpta and various annuals and woody species (e.g. Acacia karroo) increase in abundance in overgrazed veld.
  • Eragrostis other species grassveld. It occurs on light textured soils at altitudes between 450 m and 1 050 m with rainfall ranging between 375 mm and 500 mm. This is sweet-to mixed veld with predominantly medium height perennial grasses and a high proportion of annuals in tree bush savanna. Annuals increase in drought years. It has a grazing capacity of 1 LU: 7.5-10 ha. Common grasses are Eragrostis rigidior, E. superba, Schizachyrium jeffreysii, Heteropogon contortus, Schmidtia pappaphoroides, Pogonarthria squarrosa, Brachiaria nigropedata, Urochloa pullulans, Digitaria pentzii, Enneapogon cenchroides and Aristida species. Associated woody species are Terminalia sericea, Combretum spp., Commiphora spp., Acacia spp., Colophospermum mopane, Grewia spp. and in the northern part of the country Brachystegia boehmii and B. spiciformis. It is sensitive to overgrazing. Enneapogon cenchroides, E. rigidior and various annuals increase in abundance in overgrazed veld.
  • Aristida other species grassveld. It occurs at altitudes between 900 m and 1 200 m. Rainfall ranges from 500 mm to 750 mm. It is a sour to mixed veld of short and tall perennial and annual grasses in woodland on Karroo sandstone and Kalahari sands in western Zimbabwe. It has a grazing capacity of 1 LU: 10-16 ha. Common grasses are Aristida graciliflora, A.pilgeri, Digitaria pentzii, D. perrottetti, Triraphis schlechteri, Heteropogon melanocarpus, Eragrostis pallens, Schizachyrium jeffreysii, S. semiberbe, Pogonarthria fleckii and Panicum maximum. Associated woody species are Baikiaea plurijuga, Pterocarpus angolensis, Julbernardia globiflora, Brachystegia spiciformis, B. boehmii, Burkea africana, Terminalia sericea, Guibourtia coleosperma and Combretum species. The poisonous suffrutex Dichapetalum cymosum is common. Extremely sensitive to overgrazing. Aristida spp., Triraphis schlechteri, Eragrostis pallens, various annuals and forbs increase in abundance in overgrazed veld.
  • Cenchrus other species grassveld. It occurs on heavy clay basaltic soils at altitudes ranging from 450 m to 1 000 m where rainfall varies from 325 mm to 400 mm. This is sweetveld in a tree bush savanna with medium-height perennial grasses and a high proportion of annual grasses. Perennials decrease in dry years. It has a grazing capacity of 1 LU: 7.5-10 ha. Common grasses are Cenchrus ciliaris, Bothriochloa radicans, Chloris myriostachya, Pennisetum spp. Panicum maximum and Enneapogon cenchroides. Associated woody species are Colophospermum mopane, Grewia species and Acacia species. It is sensitive to overgrazing. Enneapogon cenchroides and various annuals increase in abundance in overgrazed veld.
  • Aristida-Dactyloctenium-Eragrostis other species grassveld. It occurs in the Zambezi and Limpopo River Valleys below 600 m where annual rainfall ranges between 300 mm and 600 mm. This is sweetveld mainly in woodland or bush scrub savanna with mainly sparse short annual grasses. It has a grazing capacity of 1 LU: 12-20 ha. Common grasses are Aristida adscensionis, Eragrostis viscosa, Dactyloctenium giganteum, Chloris virgata and on deeper soils with more moisture Urochloa spp., Panicum spp., Cenchrus ciliaris and Digitaria species. Associated woody species are Combretum celestroides, Adansonia digitata, Commiphora spp., Schrebera spp. and Colophospermum mopane. Extremely sensitive to overgrazing. Annual species increase in abundance in overgrazed veld. Large areas of bare ground are formed because of overgrazing.
Figure 3 - Major grass vegetation types in Zimbabwe
(Rattray, 1957)

[Click to view full map]

There are several other less extensive grassland types that are interspersed within the major types. Examples are Setaria veld, serpentine veld and sodic veld. Setaria veld is a sour to mixed veld type found on vertisols in higher rainfall (> 400 mm) areas in tree savanna or open grasslands situations. Common grasses are Setaria porphyrantha, S. sphacelata, Dichanthium papillosum and Ischaemum afrum. These grasses are associated with Acacia species. It has a grazing capacity of 1 LU: 3-4 ha. Serpentine veld is a sour to mixed veld on the Great Dyke. Characteristic species are Andropogon gayanus, A. schirensis, Themeda triandra, Bewsia biflora, Aristida spp. and Loudetia species. It has a grazing capacity of 1 LU: 5 ha. Sodic veld is a sweetveld in tree bush or bush clump savanna on sodic soils often near granite drainage lines. Common grasses are Sporobolus ioclodes, Chloris virgata and Dactyloctenium aegyptium. Associated woody species are Colophospermum mopane, Acacia gerrardii and A. mellifera. It has a grazing capacity of 1 LU: 14-20 ha.

Reinforced (improved) rangeland

The only feasible means by which range productivity can be raised above natural levels is by reinforcement with legumes (Clatworthy, 1998). Several legumes can be used for reinforcing rangeland (Robinson and Clatworthy, 1980; Maclaurin and Wood,1987) (Table 13). In Zimbabwe, rangeland reinforcement has consisted mainly of planting rows of improved herbaceous forages, usually legumes, into the topland veld, and grasses into vleis. It has generally been more successful in the higher rainfall areas and on the more fertile soils.

Table 13. Legumes and grasses commonly used for reinforcing rangeland in Zimbabwe.

Species

Soil type

Rainfall (mm)

Altitude (m)

Remarks

Legumes

       
Chamaecrista rotundifolia (Cassia) sands

650 - 800

1 300

Semi-prostrate annual. Prolific seeder.
Seeding rate: 2 kg ha-1.
Stylosanthes guianensis (Graham stylo) sands/ sandy clays

> 800

<1 300

Perennial.
Seeding rate: 3 kg ha-1.
Good resistance to anthracnose.
Stylosanthes hippocampoides (Oxley fine-stem stylo) sands

600 -1 000

>1 200

Perennial. Seeding rate is 3-4 kg ha-1. Susceptible to anthracnose.
Stylosanthes hamata (Verano stylo) sands/ sandy clays

650 -1 000

<1 300

Drought tolerant.
Seeding rate: 3 kg ha-1.
Stylosanthes scabra (Shrubby stylo) sands/ sandy clays

>650

<1 300

Perennial and erect.
Seeding rate: 3 kg ha-1.
Macrotyloma axillare (Archer) sands/ sandy clays

>800

>1 000

Perennial and twining. Seeding rate: 3- 5 kg ha-1.
Macroptilium atropurpureum (Siratro) sands/ sandy clays

650 -1 000

<1 500

Perennial and twining. Seeding rate: 6- 9 kg ha-1.
Leucaena leucocephala (Leucaena) sands/clays

650 - 1 000

<1 300

Perennial shrub or tree. Planted in rows 3 m apart.
Grasses        
Acroceras macrum (Nile grass) sands/ sandy clays

>1 000

<1 500

Prostrate and stoloniferous. Used to reinforce vleis from runners.
Panicum repens (Torpedo grass) Sands/ sandy clays

>1 000

<1 500

Rhizomatous. Used to reinforce vleis from runners.
Paspalum urvellei (Upright paspalum) sands/ sandy clays

>1 000

<1 500

Tall bunch grass for reinforcing vleis. Seeding rate: 15 kg ha-1.

Planted pastures

In high rainfall areas integrating crops and livestock through use of pastures can lead to greater and more stable farm production (Clatworthy, 1998). Planted or sown pastures range from unfertilised grass fallows to heavily fertilised irrigated pastures. Examples of plants that could be used in planted pastures are given in Tables 14-16.

Table 14. Legumes and grasses commonly used for temporary dry land pastures (leys)

Species

Soil type

Rainfall (mm)

Altitude (m)

Remarks

Legumes1

       
Neonotonia wightii (Glycine) sandy clays/ clays

>800

>1 200

Twining perennial. Resistant to root-knot nematode. Seeding rate: 4-6 kg ha-1.
Desmodium intortum (Greenleaf desmodium) wide range

>800

>1 200

Twining perennial. Resistant to root-knot nematode. Seeding rate: 2 kg ha-1.
Desmodium uncinatum (Silverleaf desmodium) wide range

>800

>1 200

Twining perennial. Susceptible to root-knot nematode. Seeding rate: 3 kg ha-1.
Lotononis bainesii (Beit lotononis) sands

>800

>1 300

Prostrate perennial. Susceptible to root-knot nematode. Seeding rate: 0.5-1 kg ha-1.
         
Grasses        
Chloris gayana (Katambora Rhodes grass) sands/ sandy clays

>800

>1 000

Easy to establish. Resistant to root-knot nematode. Seeding rate: 6-8 kg ha-1.
Eragrostis curvula (Weeping lovegrass) sands/ sandy clays

>800

<1 200

Easy to establish. Resistant to root-knot nematode. Seeding rate: 3-4 kg ha-1.
Panicum maximum (Panicum) wide range

>800

<1 500

Resistant to root-knot nematode. Seeding rate: 8-10 kg ha-1.
Digitaria eriantha (Smuts finger grass) sands/ sandy clays

>800

<1 500

Resistant to root-knot nematode. Seeding rate: 6-8 kg ha-1.
Paspalum guenoarum (Wintergreen paspalum) sands/ sandy

>800

<1 500

Resistant to root-knot nematode. Seeding rate: 6-7 kg ha-1.
Chloris gayana (Giant Rhodes grass) sandy clays

>800

<1 500

Tufted and stoloniferous. Susceptible to root-knot nematode. Seeding rate: 8-10 kg ha-1.

1Including Siratro, Graham stylo and Archer (see Table 13).

Table 15. Grasses1 commonly used for permanent dryland pastures

Species

Soil type

Rainfall (mm)

Altitude (m)

Remarks

Cynodon species (Stargrasses) wide range

>650

<1 500

Easy to establish. Resistant to root-knot nematode. Seeding rate: 3-4 kg ha-1.
Pennisetum clandestinum (Kikuyu grass) sandy loam / clays

>1 000

<1 500

Established from runners. Requires high fertility and moisture.
Paspalum notatum (Paraguay paspalum) sands / sandy clays

>800

<1 500

Resistant to root-knot nematode. Seeding rate: 15-17 kg ha-1.

1Including Panicum repens, Acroceras macrum (see Table 13).

Table 16. Grasses and legumes commonly used for irrigated pastures

Species

Soil type

Rainfall (mm)

Altitude (m)

Remarks

Grasses1        
Lolium multiflorum (Midmar ryegrass) sandy clays/ clays

>1 000

>1 200

Tufted leaf annual. Seeding rate: 30 kg ha-1.
Avena sativa (Oats) sandy clays

>1 000

>1 200

Annual cereal crop. Seeding rate: 75 kg ha-1.
Agrotricum sandy clays/ clays

>1 000

>1 500

A hybrid between Agropyron elongatum and Triticum vulgare. Seeding rate: 30-35 kg ha-1.
Legumes        
Medicago sativa (Lucerne) sands / sandy clays

>650

<1 300

Deep rooted, erect perennial. Seeding rate: 10-12 kg ha-1.
Trifolium semipilosum (Kenya white clover) sandy clays

>1 000

>1 300

Prostrate perennial. Grass
well in association with
Kikuyu grass. Cause bloat.
Seeding rate: 1.5 - 2 kg ha-1.
Trifolium repens

(Tama clover)

sands / sandy clays

>1 000

>1 300

Causes bloat. Seeding rate: 15-17 kg ha-1.

1Including Pennisetum clandestinum, Cynodon species (see Table 15).

The major problems of pasture plants are the availability of seed and poor persistence of some species under heavy grazing. Pasture seeds are generally expensive. Furthermore, most legumes require inoculation with Rhizobia and application of phosphatic fertiliser at establishment. Inorganic fertilisers are generally expensive for smallholder farmers.


6.  OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT OF PASTURE RESOURCES

There are three main ways in which pasture resources could be improved. First, where natural pasture is the major feed, a conservative stocking rate strategy could be adopted (Gammon, 1978). This would reduce overgrazing and ensure adequate feed in drought years. The farmer would need to assess the condition of the pasture annually and make necessary adjustments to stocking rates. This is a form of adaptive management that requires the farmer to keep detailed records on rainfall, animal performance (calving rates, weaning weights, growth rates), vegetation (pasture composition, basal cover, density of palatable species) and soil (erosion, compaction, termite activity). The major problem with a conservative stocking strategy is that there is under-utilisation of herbage in years of above average rainfall; it is difficult to apply where land is grazed communally.

Second, range can be reinforced with herbaceous and browse legumes. Legumes have been shown to improve soil fertility and reduce weight loss of grazing animals during the dry season. Establishing legumes in grazing areas could therefore reduce the costs of protein supplementation thereby increasing economic returns. However, the major problems with range reinforcement with legumes are (1) high initial fertiliser costs (phosphate is required by most legumes), (2) poor establishment of legumes especially during drought years, and (3) poor persistence of herbaceous legumes. More research is needed on legumes for overseeding and for use in sown pastures.

Third, fodder banks could be developed to feed animals during drought. Fodder could also be used to feed selected classes of stock such as lactating cows and draught animals. The last two strategies depend on the availability of seed of forage plants. It may therefore be necessary to increase seed production.


7RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS AND PERSONNEL

There are several key institutions in Zimbabwe which carry out research and promote the development of forages. These include government, parastatal and private organisations. The departments of Research and Specialist Services (DR&SS) and Agricultural, Technical and Extension Services (Agritex) under the Ministry of Lands and Agriculture, are the two most important government departments. DR&SS has a mandate to conduct research on sustainable livestock production from rangeland and pastures while Agritex provides technical advice on livestock and crop production to farmers. The contact person in DR&SS is Dr P. Nyathi. His address is: Department of Research and Specialist Services, P.O. Box CY 594, Causeway, Harare.

Universities in Zimbabwe also conduct research on rangeland management, animal production and nutrition. Contacts at the University of Zimbabwe are:

  • Professor S. Sibanda: Department of Animal Science, PO Box MP 167, Mt Pleasant.
  • Dr P. Mugabe: Department of Animal Science, PO Box MP 167, Mt Pleasant.
  • J. Gambiza: Department of Biosciences, PO Box MP 167, Mt Pleasant.

8.  REFERENCES

Anderson, I.P., Brinn, P.J., Moyo, M. and Nyamwanza, B. 1993. Physical resource inventory of the communal lands of Zimbabwe – An overview. NRI Bulletin 60. Chatham, UK: Natural Resources Institute.

ARDA-DDP Annual Report, 1998/99. Annual Report, Dairy Development Programme, Harare. 43 pages.

Campbell, B.M., Dore, D., Luckert, M., Mukamuri, B. and Gambiza, J. 2000. Economic comparisons of livestock production in communal grazing lands in Zimbabwe. Ecological Economics 33: 413-438.

Clatworthy, J.N. 1998. Planted pastures for beef production. In: Beef Production Manual, Commercial Farmers Union, Harare. 8 pages.

Commercial Farmers Union, 2000. Facts on land and the present situation. Mimeograph, 25 pages.

Dye, P.J. and Spear, P.T. 1982. The effect of bush clearing and rainfall variability on grass yield and composition in south-west Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe Journal of Agricultural Research 20: 103-117.

Elliot, R.C. and Folkertsen, K. 1961. Seasonal changes in composition and yields of veld grass. Rhodesia Agricultural Journal 58: 186-187.

Frost, P.G.H. 1996. The ecology of miombo woodlands. In: Campbell, B. (ed.). The Miombo in Transition: Woodlands and Welfare in Africa. Centre for International Forest Research, Bogor.

Gammon, D.M. 1978. A review of experiments comparing systems of grazing management on natural pastures. Proceedings of the Grassland Society of Southern Africa 13: 75-82.

Maclaurin, A.R. and Wood, A.M. 1987.Veld and pasture management. In: Oliver, J. (ed). Dairy Handbook, National Association of Dairy Farmers of Zimbabwe, Harare. pp. 79-94.

Matowanyika, J.Z.Z. 1998. Land resources. In: Chenje, M., Sola, L. and Paleczny, D. (eds.). The State of Zimbabwe’s Environment 1998. Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Ministry of Mines, Environment and Tourism, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Nyamapfene, K. 1991. The soils of Zimbabwe. Nehanda Publishers, Harare.

Nyathi, P. and Gambiza, J. 1994. A review of current and proposed future livestock and pastures research. Research Report. Zimbabwe Agricultural Journal, Government Printer, Harare.

Pascoe, D. 1987. The dairy industry. In: Oliver, J. (ed). Dairy Handbook, National Association of Dairy Farmers of Zimbabwe, Harare. pp. 1-3.

Rattray, J.M. 1957. The grass and grass associations of southern Rhodesia. Rhodesia Agricultural Journal 54: 197-234.

Robinson, J. and Clatworthy, J. 1980. Grasses and legumes for pastures. Natural Resources Board, Harare.

Rukuni, M. 1994. Report of the Commission of Inquiry into Appropriate Agricultural Land Tenure Systems. Volume II: Technical Reports. Government Printers, Harare.

Sibanda, S. 1998. Supplementary feeding of beef cattle. In: Beef Production Manual, Commercial Farmers Union, Harare. 15 pages.

Vincent, V. and Thomas, R.G. 1960. An agricultural survey of Southern Rhodesia: Part I: agro-ecological survey. Government Printer, Salisbury.

Weinman, H. 1948. Seasonal growth changes in chemical composition of herbage on Marondellas sand veld. Rhodesia Agricultural Journal 45: 119-131.


9CONTACTS

The profile was prepared by James Gambiza and Cynthia Nyama in October/November, 2000.

  • James Gambiza:

Address: Department of Biological Sciences, University of Zimbabwe. PO Box MP 167, Mount Pleasant, Harare. E-mail: Gambiza@trep.co.zw.

J. Gambiza is a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, Department of Biological Sciences. He has several years of experience on rangeland research and management in Zimbabwe. He will be responsible for updating this profile.

  • Ms Cynthia Nyama:

Address: Grasslands Research Station, P.B. 3701, Marondera, Zimbabwe.

Ms Cynthia Nyama is a Senior Research Technician at Grasslands Research Station. She has over 13 years of experience on rangeland research and animal production.

[The profile was edited by J.M. Suttie and S.G. Reynolds in November/December 2005 and livestock data modified in August 2006. No changes have been made to the profile to reflect developments in Zimbabwe since late 2000]